Clean. Pure. Spotless. Washed.
How do you feel when you read those words? What emotions come to mind? For some, this is a longing. A desperation to wipe away all of the bad things we have done or the hurt we have caused. Our decisions have been destructive and we have found ourselves in a place we don’t want to be, questioning who we’ve become. For Christians, these words give hope and show how much we are loved. The sins of our past, present, and future are cast off of us like dirty rags.
Don’t we have such Good News?
As we begin our study of Leviticus, we continue to see God’s novel unfold. Between the lines of all of the detailed descriptions of the sacrifices and offerings, we see God’s beautiful redemptive work taking form. Despite what you may be thinking, these chapters have great news for us, and an even greater call to action.
S – Scripture: Leviticus 1-4
- 1:4 – “Lay your hand on the animal’s head, and the LORD will accept its death in your place to purify you, making you right with him.”
- 1:9 – “But the internal organs and the legs must first be washed with water. Then the priest will burn the entire sacrifice on the altar as a burnt offering. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.”
- 2:13 – “Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God’s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.”
- 3:14 – “The priest must present part of this offering as a special gift to the LORD. This includes all the fat around the internal organs.”
O – Observation:
- A transfer of sin had to be made from person to animal. By laying a hand on the animal’s head and then slaughtered, the sin was removed.
- Blood had to be shed from the forgiveness of sin. It was the only way to be found right with God back then.
- The organs of the animal needed to be washed clean before being offered to God as a sacrifice.
- Salt was used as a reminder of God’s eternal covenant.
- All of the fat off the animal was presented to God. It was a “pleasing aroma” to him.
A – Application:
“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:5-7
“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me–now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me… You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalm 51:7-10,16-17
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” Matthew 5:13
“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15
I know that I keep saying it, but I just love how the Old Testament/Covenant foreshadows the New. It’s such a beautiful story to me. Everything that God asked the Israelites to do had a specific purpose for that time. Then, Jesus fulfilled the greater purpose of those rituals, festivals, and sacrifices. Now our hearts have been washed clean, we are the salt of the earth, and a pleasing aroma to God.
Though we don’t have to do any more to get ourselves into Heaven, we do have a mission on earth. We serve God out of grateful hearts because of what he has done for us. In this way, more people have the opportunity to experience all that God has for them too.
This may sound like a weird question, but how salty are to the earth? Do those around you recognize that there is something different about you? Do they see God through you? You have potent Good News to share, are you sharing it?
I have to admit, that I’m probably not doing the best job at this. As much as I enjoy writing about the gospel, speaking it is a different story. I feel like Moses, fumbling over my words. Living it through every aspect of my life, with actions and words is sometimes a challenge.
As much as I want to be bold, I know that I hold myself back many times. Why? I have such Amazing News to share! News that changes lives for eternity! This is going to be a bold prayer for me, will you pray it with me? I want to pray for opportunities to start sharing my faith. Whew! Even typing those words makes me shaky!
P – Prayer:
God, your news is so Good! I want to share it with others. I want to salt and light in this dark and hungry world. I am understanding the gravity of eternal decisions that we make here on earth. The life and hope you have given me is something that I know others need and want too. There are so many hurts and so much brokenness in this world. Help me to be bring those in need close to you, God. Give me a boldness that surpasses my weaknesses. Work through me. All glory goes to you, Father. Amen.